Dem takes seat in state House |

Dem takes seat in state House

Ryan GraffGlenwood Springs Correspondent

Democrat Kathleen Curry of Gunnison won the race to replace Republican Gregg Rippy to represent the Roaring Fork Valley in the state House. She beat out Republican Becky Rippy of New Castle and Libertarian Dale Reed of No Name to take the House District 61 seat. With 57 percent of the vote counted last night, Curry led Rippy 61 to 37 percent. “It looks like we know the answer,” Curry said late last night after hearing that a number of media outlets had declared her the winner. “It was a great campaign,” she said. “It was a real upbeat situation, and we stuck to the issues.”Curry campaigned to protect Western Slope water and to balance the state budget, partly through reforming the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Curry has worked on water issues in Colorado for 15 years, and has managed the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District for the last six. She was named Water Manager of the Year by the Colorado Division of Water Resources in 2003. Results from other House districts in the state gave Curry hope that she’d get to accomplish some of what she promised to during her campaign. “It’s looking like we’re going to have a change in the majority party, from Republican to Democrat,” she said.”It’s going to give us some energy to fix some issues we haven’t had the chance to change over the last couple of years,” she said. “That would be TABOR.”Curry mentioned that she’d continue to work across party lines. As Curry gathered with Democrats in Gunnison, Rippy met with Republicans at Buffalo Valley Restaurant to watch the results come in. Around 8:30 p.m. Rippy got her first glimpse of the election’s outcome when a friend called her cell phone to report that Curry led Rippy 52 percent to 43 percent. Rippy held out hope that those numbers came from Pitkin County, a place where Republicans historically haven’t fared well. “If it’s a 60-30 vote count I won’t be happy,” Rippy said around 11:30 p.m., still hoping that Garfield County, where she expected to do well, hadn’t reported its votes yet. But it wasn’t to be for Rippy, looking to win District 61 after her cousin in-law, Gregg Rippy, gave up the seat in a bid for the U.S. House of Representatives seat. All was not lost, however. “It was a great experience,” she said. “If you could lose against anybody, I’m glad to lose against Kathleen Curry. I got to know her on the campaign trail, and she’ll do a great job.”

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